Faithfully Thinking: When the church disappoints you

The Church has disappointed me, time and time again. By The Church, I mean the Christian Church.

I have stood in offices of private Christian schools and overheard gossip about others within the school; gossip that never should have been repeated. I have been told information I should never have been told by Christians who never should have known it, let alone shared it. I have heard Christians run down people who are struggling with cancer, mock people who were struggling with parenting, and betray people who were supposed to be their friends.

I have listened to people who call themselves Christians speak sarcastically and condescendingly to other Christians. I have been rejected by many Christians and I have been pushed to the outside of circles because I wasn’t the “right kind of Christian.”

And I have also done some of these things in the past myself.

I have been disappointed in myself.

I open my mouth or use my fingers at times I should not. I get annoyed and instead of praying, walking away and asking God to seal my mouth, I blurt out that annoyance. I have a quick tongue (and quick fingers) that God has been taming and has tamed in the past, only for me to lose control again. It may not seem like it to some, but I am so much better than I used to be. If people only knew how far I’ve come, they’d be so proud of me, even though I never recognize my progress and am rarely proud of myself.

That’s the issue when we judge people from only what we can see. Sometimes we see where a person is and not how far they’ve come. Trust me, I am very, very guilty of this.

The bottom line is that it is almost inevitable that at some point in our life The Church will disappoint us.

Its’ members will hurt us.

We will hurt them.

They will make mistakes.

We will make mistakes.

They are humans and we are humans and the only way for us all to get better is to commit to trying our best to live like Christ.

Church is not a place for perfect people.

It’s a place for hurting, broken, struggling, and failing people.

The people who hurt, break, and fail us.

No matter how many times The Church or its’ people disappoint us, God will never disappoint us.

Humans are ever-changing.

God is never changing.

I find that fact that God never changes comforting in the moments when I fail; when I fall off the wagon of keeping my mouth shut and get myself in trouble – once again.

I am not proud of those moments, but I know that even in those moments God loves me.

He knows I’m human and I’m going to fail.

He knows I want to change and I want to make amends where I can.

And he knows that The Church, his imperfect people, are simply learning as they go and they may hurt each other but that he will never hurt us and will always be there to comfort and hold us in our pain.

Don’t let the pain and hurt the people of God’s church have inflicted on you keep you from the never-changing love of Christ.

He’s with us even when The Church isn’t.

 

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.

12 comments

  1. So true. We Christians aren’t perfect people and too many of us come across as hypocritical or judgmental. That’s when we need to examine ourselves and devote ourselves to prayer to ask Jesus to completely change our hearts. Our actions speak louder than our words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I agree…Thank you Lisa for your honesty. I have had many moments of weakness. One of the churches my dad attended was in a really rich area, like a mega church surrounded by million dollar homes. My dad would skip around but this was his favorite because he like the pastor at the church.
    John McCain attended this church sometimes when he was still alive. Anyway, my dad was a roofer and one time he hurt his face really bad on the job, it looked horrible, Being a roofer sometimes there are accidents that happen like burns and cuts. He still went to church every Sunday and most of the people at that huge “Rich” church saw my dad’s face and cringed, sneered and tried to get away from him…this is according to my step mom and dad. They said they were shocked to see so many people and Christians too, react that way. I know it hurt my dad but it does happen. My favorite church was in my old neighborhood I grew up in. It was an adobe church with a dirt floor. There was a saint statue in it but I can’t remember which saint. Many people would leave little bits of paper with prayers on it for their love ones. Word started going around that prayers were being answered and it started to get popular but only locals knew about it. I remember it was always open when I was a little girl, at all hours of the day and night. It was so tiny, I would walk in and be the only one, sometimes at night and sit there with a beautiful desert behind me and South Mountain. The church is no longer open like it used to be, the gangs got bad in the area and someone was killed near it and the church right next to it , a couple houses down was burned. When I first met my husband I took him to the little adobe church with a dirt floors and told him “This is the church I believe Jesus would love, this is my favorite little church”. When I ran into people there, which was rare, they never looked on with eyes of judgement.

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    1. I only share this on my blog. When I share things like this on my personal Facebook page I get the head shakes and scoldings and private messages telling me I’m wrong. That’s probably one reason I barely go on Facebook anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have come across people in the past (and I had this tendency one time myself) to project an “everything is great and perfect Christian life.” (Sort of like being a walking and talking advertisement for Christianity and Church.) But that is not always the way it is, and Jesus never promised that it would be that way either, just that he would be with us no matter what.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen. I think sometimes some well meaning Christians want to seem like everything is okay because they don’t want to make non-Christians feel like there isn’t anything good about believing in God and Jesus. They want to show them there is something different and hopeful in Christ but they unintentionally push people away by acting like life will always be a breeze and perfect now that they are a Christian. Life will never be a breeze or perfect, but, yes, God will always be with us.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Dear Lisa,
      I have been in so many of those same situations too. And I have made my share of mistakes and mess-ups too. Thank you so much for sharing the love of God here–that He is always waiting to pick us up, no matter what happened. I just finished your book, and so appreciated that same sense of understanding from God, and Miss Maise, when I read the story! I am praying for you as you work on your next book. May the Lord keep bringing those precious stories from deep within your heart. You are a blessing!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. I am trying to get a positive message in my books, without being too preachy and share about romance, without being too … well, graphic. I always know I won’t make everyone happy so I’m trying to pray about how to present it all! Thank you for the kind words.

        Liked by 1 person

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